Giving people the power to take action is environmental charity BEST’s biggest accomplishment, outgoing head Stuart Hayward said yesterday.

But Mr Hayward — who is to retire as the group’s chief advocacy officer after ten years — pledged he would stay involved as a consultant to the charity.

Mr Hayward said: “This is my life’s work and I don’t claim any ownership of BEST.

“It is owned by all the people who are involved — but I wouldn’t want to say I’m washing my hands of it.

“There will be a place for my analysis and ideas and assistance of one sort or another. As long as there is a need for it and I am capable of it, I would want to keep on going.

“It is soul enriching to do something for your community. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to work and get accepted in my community for doing something that means something to me.”

Mr Hayward explained that the handover to Kim Smith, BEST project co-ordinator, started almost three years ago when Mr Hayward was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

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